Just sharing a good photo of drone brood for new beekeepers. You can clearly see the dome capped cells of the drones. To the far right of the image there are capped worker cells.
This is a slow-motion video of workers coming and going from a hive. Most beekeepers like to stand around and watch their bees work, and I'm no exception. There is something wonderful and fascinating seeing them work.
There was some cross comb in this hive and I knocked out some larvae while going through it. I worked down to the bottom board to clean that off from winter and saw these girls already moving out larvae that fell to the bottom. The industriousness of bees is awesome!
This is a lovely brood pattern by an overwintered nuc queen! Beekeepers will appreciate this - everyone else will probably shrug... :>)
If you chase swarms, at some point you'll be faced with a swarm high up in a tree. One way to reach them is through a simple setup. You will need a painters extension pole, the roller on the end, duct tape, and a 5 gallon (or similar) bucket. I was trying to explain this on a group and was asked if I could sketch it out, thus the high quality drawing above. Basically, you put the roller on the extension, duct tape the bucket handle to the roller (allow it to roll freely, so the bucket remains plumb) and you have your swarm catcher. Stand 3 to 5 feet to the side of the swarm, extend the pole under it, then firmly bump the branch and swarm so it falls in the bucket. Lower the pole and dump the bees in a hive (or nuc, whatever). If you got the queen, the rest of the swarm will fly down in a bit. A simple way to know if you did is the workers will line up at the entrance with their tales in the air fanning. If you missed her you may need to repeat this a couple of times. If you don't know what a painters extension pole is, I have a link to one below (buy a cheaper one). Good luck!
Link to a pole at Home Depot
I've built a number of queen mating nucs, a modified version of my five frame nucs. Basically I've added a dividing board to turn it into a couple of two frame mating nucs. Entrances are on opposite sides and I do have holes drilled in the top for feeding.
On Monday I did a full inspection of nearly all my hives. I like this photo because it is like a highlight reel - queen, brood, nectar, pollen, pretty comb, propolis, and plenty of bees! So far (knock on wood), I've had phenomenal survival over the winter. By straight math, ~5% deadouts, and that is including some hives I probably should have merged in the fall. Overall I'm very happy. One last note, I already have drone brood in some hives.
I finished assembling 25 nuc boxes this afternoon as I've expanded my nuc production this year (and almost sold out even so). Now for the boring part - painting. These boxes last years; the old box in the top left is 3 years old (with a mismatched lid) and has no serious issues. I use exterior grade plywood (not pressure treated), with prime and paint. The red painted line is actually a sideways letter I. To keep track of the nucs and also to create a unique front to assist with orientation flights I cycle through the alphabet painted on using a template. If like to build some of these yourself, I have the cut template in the Build it yourself area.